In a matter of minutes, the Department of the Environment is holding a public consultation on Waterloo’s Port of Belize Cruise Tourism Facility and Cargo Expansion project. As we reported, Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited had resubmitted its Environmental Impact Assessment report after it was initially denied because it lacked adequate consultations with residents of the Port Loyola Community. The consultation session is open to members of the public who will be able to voice the environmental concerns surrounding the project. At an event in Belize City, we asked Acting Prime Minister Cordel Hyde for a comment.
Cordel Hyde, Acting Prime Minister: “As I’ve probably said before, that is something that Government will have to grapple with. That is a serious discussion that Government will have to have going forward. As it is right now you have that this evening. You know if it were up to me that wouldn’t be the case.”
Reporter: You’re Acting PM though. You actually have the power and authority to have stopped that process.
Cordel Hyde, Acting Prime Minister: “Yeah but you’re assuming that. Right? We live in a democracy and we live in a country of laws and, ultimately, as the Acting Prime Minister, I’m not a unilateral operator. Ultimately, at the end of the day the process has started. It is at this point. The Belizean people are, I am very confident, are going to make their voices known, are going to make their concerns known this evening and it should be an interesting meeting. It should be an interesting consultation to say the least.”
Belize City Deputy Mayor, Allan Pollard also weighed in on whether the Belize City Council has considered the effects the project may have on residents of the city and whether it supports the project.
Allan Pollard, Deputy Mayor, Belize City Council: “So far, I must say, that hasn’t been an agenda item so as a collective, there hasn’t been a fixed position by the Council at this time. I know, I think it was a year or two ago, Waterloo did do a presentation at the Belize City Council but as far as having something on agenda, that hasn’t happened as yet. I think the Council should have a say in any project that happens within Belize City whether it affects us, whether it benefits us, the council should have a say in that.”